Competitive Specialties Matched By Medical School (Plots and Data)

darkamgine

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I got bored so I spent half of today compiling and organizing data from the 2020 and 2021 Match. Please do not over-interpret or misinterpret the data: I am showing numbers not an explanation.

It may appear hard to understand whether a school's match is good or not, and honestly, it takes too much time to sort through each school's match data. I compiled a spreadsheet to look into the number and proportion of students matched into competitive specialties (Derm, Ortho, Plastics, ENT, NeuroSurgery, abbreviated DOPEN) by each medical school. I think most medical students would agree these are competitive specialties that are hard to get into because of expectations of high STEP scores, research, and good clinical grades. I know there are other potential competitive specialties such as IR and Rad Onc but they were not included because it is more work for me without a large difference in end results (Feel free to add it to my data if you want). Additionally, I realize not everyone who has a competitive application will apply into these specialties (for one, I am not looking into any surgical specialty), but I still believe the data is interesting to investigate. 9.1% of all US MD graduates in 2020 matched into DOPEN specialties (1751/19326) so that is the expected average for all US medical schools.

So below is my first plot showing the number of DOPEN matched in 2020 (Y axis) by the approximate class size or graduating class of 2020 (X axis). The trendline is approximately the average for all medical schools. About half of all medical students is represented by the medical schools shown below. Schools that are above the line have more than the expected number of students match into DOPEN whereas schools below the line have less students than expected match into DOPEN. There are many possible explanations why a school may want to be under the line such as primary care focus, under-served focus, research (MD-PhD) focus, or more. Note, I do not rank/distinguish at which hospitals people match.

2020 DOPEN Match 3.png

However, it is interesting that the schools with the highest proportion of students matching into DOPEN are top research universities including Vanderbilt, UPenn, JHU, and Harvard. You can view the spreadsheet linked here [outdated, making new one, please wait] for specific numbers but there is a trend for many of the top private medical schools to be very specialized. There are some schools way above the line which I did not expect based on ranking for example, Miami and University of Rochester matched a lot of DOPEN (14%). Now, whether that is variance or not requires more data but it is something to pay attention to. Note, I inputted data from other years for schools that I could not find their 2020 match list.

I have also compiled the preliminary data for 2021 Match which looks even more interesting. If you look at the spreadsheet for 2021 data, you see some very eye-popping numbers. For example, Mayo and Vanderbilt have over 20% of their graduating class match into DOPEN specialties!! Yale and Miami are not far behind them in terms of percentage! Is this because of variance, COVID-19, student preferences, or something else, I do not know but the separation between schools appears larger this year than last year. Additionally, the data is currently incomplete but I wonder if more graduates from top medical school matching into DOPEN is a trend or just an aberration of this year.

2021 DOPEN Match 3.png


Hopefully, these graphs and data were interesting to you. Keep in mind, there are many factors that go into residency applications and the medical school you go to is just one of them. I honestly would take this data with a grain of salt because the variation year to year is huge for some schools. UCLA went from below expected to among the highest DOPEN matched in a year. Same with Wake Forest.

If anyone is interested in doing more analysis or compiling more data with this, let me know or just use the spreadsheet. I do not know or promise all information in the spreadsheet is correct as I just compiled it today. Special thanks to @Kracin for his work on the match list table of contents. Also thanks to anyone making readable and searchable match list (you can really tell if a school puts in the work or not).

TLDR: Data from the Match showing graduates of which medical schools matched more than the national average into competitive surgical specialties.

Edit (3/24): Updated graphs and added 2019-2021 Average Data. Fixed an calculation error in some schools.
Edit (3/29) added and updated more data. Spreadsheet is out of date and working on new one. Excel is ripping me a new one by changing my formulas.

Here is average DOPEN match rate by medical schools from 2019-2021 with standard deviations. I think this mirrors research rankings by US news and reports quite a bit but there are some unexpected ones such as Miami being rather high while UPitts being lower than expected.
Almost all the top DOPEN match are private schools while public schools (even good ones) are a lot lower on the list than most people would expect.


DOPEN Match 2019-2021 list 2.png
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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Would be interesting to look at it in relation to home programs - do schools with competitive residency programs match their students to those specialties? my assumption is yes, because it means you have the support for research, mentorship, etc. Miami may not be elite in terms of national ranking but we have residency programs in all the specialties you mentioned, lots of research happening on campus, etc.

Also probably interesting to look at longer term trends to see how things change year to year. Anecdotally, we had a larger number of people take research years last year than usual, which I think is reflected in our heavy hitting match list this year (like the mega ortho match list). Not all of those applicants took research years though, some are just badasses.
 
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Chibucks15

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This will always be affected by personal choice and to be honest is kind of an exercise in futility. Many many people hate the “competitive” specialties regardless of how their application is. Sure it’s very common for someone to want ortho before boards come back then magically like family med, but there’s also a large chunk of people who want to get through med school, go to primary care back in their home town, and call it a day.

It’s pretty common knowledge which schools have connection(s) to allow a somewhat easier road to these specialties if you choose, but no matter how you crunch the data there is no way to account for personal preference vs dual specialty applying vs soaping and all that because schools just don’t give that information out for better or for worse
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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This will always be affected by personal choice and to be honest is kind of an exercise in futility. Many many people hate the “competitive” specialties regardless of how their application is. Sure it’s very common for someone to want ortho before boards come back then magically like family med, but there’s also a large chunk of people who want to get through med school, go to primary care back in their home town, and call it a day.

It’s pretty common knowledge which schools have connection(s) to allow a somewhat easier road to these specialties if you choose, but no matter how you crunch the data there is no way to account for personal preference vs dual specialty applying vs soaping and all that because schools just don’t give that information out for better or for worse

Oh yeah it's not useful at all if you're not someone interested in these kind of specialties. I'm not interested in any of them, so it's mostly just a mildly interesting thought exercise that's putting that common knowledge into some nice looking graphs. BUT if you are someone who is interested in one of these, even if board scores may later change your mind, probably better to start out at a school that has those connections and that culture. if a school is very rarely matching people into these kind of specialties, even if it's all personal preference of the students, it says something about the culture of the school. A day 1 ortho gunner may not enjoy being in a school with a huge focus on primary care, even if all of those primary care interested students are absolutely stellar people
 
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metzthatcut

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Also, remember that the relative number of applicants to these fields tend to be relatively low, and your numbers can swing wildly depending on the number of applicants in any given year. Case in point, Wake forest goes from ~6 one year, to ~16 another year. Nothing changed in that school from one year to the next.
 
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efle

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Interesting chart! More than 60% of people with a 250+ select a less competitive specialty however, so for trying to read a match list, you'd really have to look into where people were matching in big fields like IM

I've always been too lazy to do it, but someone could in theory put together a rank list assessment that looks at how many people land in the "top X" programs in their specialty. It will probably be the same group of big research centers that overperform the average, but would be interesting to quantify the advantage
 
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darkamgine

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Interesting chart! More than 60% of people with a 250+ select a less competitive specialty however, so for trying to read a match list, you'd really have to look into where people were matching in big fields like IM

I've always been too lazy to do it, but someone could in theory put together a rank list assessment that looks at how many people land in the "top X" programs in their specialty. It will probably be the same group of big research centers that overperform the average, but would be interesting to quantify the advantage
Actually, thanks for that post. I appreciate the information, and I actually think it reinforces the importance of the specialties though by this logic.

250+ Step is about the 84 percentile meaning there are about 16% of people who score higher. That means, of the 20,000 US MD students, about 3200 students get 250 or higher. The total of all DOPEN slots filled by US MD is about 1750; therefore, DOPEN can only represent a fraction of the match list by high scoring students.

If you add up the percentage of students with a 250+ going into DOPEN from your post, you get 27.2% which corresponds to about 870 students. That means approximately half of the US MD DOPEN slots are filled by students with a score of 250+ (870/1750). Additionally, while the national average is 9% of all medical students matching into DOPEN specialties, students scoring a 250+ are 3 times more likely to match into DOPEN specialties.

I am also too lazy to put a rank list assessment for each specialties. The other problem is the "home field" advantage is just too big of an influence so I guess it will look very similar to how the affiliated hospitals are rank. Honestly, if I want to make the current data more applicable to real-world outcomes, I need to include 3-4 years of data for each school to average out the variances between different years.
 
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Kuratz

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All match lists need to be taken with a massive grain of salt. The mission of many top schools is not to produce as many subspecialists as possible and self-selects students accordingly. And frankly many top applicants would hate the specialties listed. I would caution anyone drawing any conclusions based on match data beyond match rate.
 
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Redpancreas

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I got bored so I spent half of today compiling and organizing data from the 2020 and 2021 Match. Please do not over-interpret or misinterpret the data: I am showing numbers not an explanation.

It may appear hard to understand whether a school's match is good or not, and honestly, it takes too much time to sort through each school's match data. I compiled a spreadsheet to look into the number and proportion of students matched into competitive specialties (Derm, Ortho, Plastics, ENT, NeuroSurgery, abbreviated DOPEN) by each medical school. I think most medical students would agree these are competitive specialties that are hard to get into because of expectations of high STEP scores, research, and good clinical grades. I know there are other potential competitive specialties such as IR and Rad Onc but they were not included because it is more work for me without a large difference in end results (Feel free to add it to my data if you want). Additionally, I realize not everyone who has a competitive application will apply into these specialties (for one, I am not looking into any surgical specialty), but I still believe the data is interesting to investigate. 9.1% of all US MD graduates in 2020 matched into DOPEN specialties (1751/19326) so that is the expected average for all US medical schools.

So below is my first plot showing the number of DOPEN matched in 2020 (Y axis) by the approximate class size or graduating class of 2020 (X axis). The trendline is approximately the average for all medical schools. About half of all medical students is represented by the medical schools shown below. Schools that are above the line have more than the expected number of students match into DOPEN whereas schools below the line have less students than expected match into DOPEN. There are many possible explanations why a school may want to be under the line such as primary care focus, under-served focus, research (MD-PhD) focus, or more. Note, I do not rank/distinguish at which hospitals people match.

View attachment 333176

However, it is interesting that the schools with the highest proportion of students matching into DOPEN are top research universities including Vanderbilt, UPenn, JHU, and Harvard. You can view the spreadsheet linked here for specific numbers but there is a trend for many of the top private medical schools to be very specialized. There are some schools way above the line which I did not expect based on ranking for example, Miami and University of Rochester matched a lot of DOPEN (14%). Now, whether that is variance or not requires more data but it is something to pay attention to. Note, I inputted data from other years for schools that I could not find their 2020 match list.

I have also compiled the preliminary data for 2021 Match which looks even more interesting. If you look at the spreadsheet for 2021 data, you see some very eye-popping numbers. For example, Mayo and Vanderbilt have over 20% of their graduating class match into DOPEN specialties!! Yale and Miami are not far behind them in terms of percentage! Is this because of variance, COVID-19, student preferences, or something else, I do not know but the separation between schools appears larger this year than last year. Additionally, the data is currently incomplete but I wonder if more graduates from top medical school matching into DOPEN is a trend or just an aberration of this year.

View attachment 333177


Hopefully, these graphs and data were interesting to you. Keep in mind, there are many factors that go into residency applications and the medical school you go to is just one of them. I honestly would take this data with a grain of salt because the variation year to year is huge for some schools. UCLA went from below expected to among the highest DOPEN matched in a year. Same with Wake Forest.

If anyone is interested in doing more analysis or compiling more data with this, let me know or just use the spreadsheet. I do not know or promise all information in the spreadsheet is correct as I just compiled it today. Special thanks to @Kracin for his work on the match list table of contents. Also thanks to anyone making readable and searchable match list (you can really tell if a school puts in the work or not).

TLDR: Data from the Match showing graduates of which medical schools matched more than the national average into competitive surgical specialties

This is going to be an interesting for premeds. Far better than USNews anyway.

You've essentially created a graph to detect outliers. Most of the information is hard to find but you've kept it simple using #of "DOPEN" matched which I think is a fairly good surrogate for a school's ability to match and plotted it against class size.

One suggestion I have for you @darkamgine is to consider creating a second graph with the Y axis being "#DOPEN:Class Size" and then have the X axis be Step 1 score. It would be interesting to see the outliers there. Step 1 isn't perfect and there are more important factors, but in 2021 it's still a good surrogate for the competitiveness of one's app and it's one variable. It would be interesting to see the outliers on that graph. What we would expect is for the "top schools" to overperform due to name recognition or whatever and the other schools to fit the curve. What would be interesting to see is which schools are below-the-curve outliers. Right now the main thing people use to differentiate MD schools that are not top tier is mainly cost but being significantly below the curve may be something pre-meds can critique because I'm all for the transparency of these tuition-gouging institutions.
 
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Redpancreas

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This chart is absolutely worthless. How do you not have something better to do?
This is an oddly negative comment. If this chart is useless, then most of SDN pre-allo or allo is too. 75% of it is weird psychodrama from people posting for validation rather than advice or medical students mad about PA/NP encroachment concerns...but let's crap on the guy trying to use actual data to model something premeds have been concerned about for years.
 
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piii

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Doesn’t even include the most competitive specialities like IR, urology, ophthalmology. Just laziness and makes it more useless.
 
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If this chart is useless, then all of SDN pre-allo and a good deal of SDN MD/DO is useless.
That’s not true. For one thing, this neglects several competitive specialties. It also doesn’t show anything novel or unexpected.....top schools that attract top applicants send those people into competitive specialties at slightly higher rates. What’s the surprise here? It’s also worthless bc it doesn’t tell you anything about the individual. You can go to a DO school and still match NSGY if you’re a badass. Ultimately, where you go to school will not determine your future.
 
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Redpancreas

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That’s not true. For one thing, this neglects several competitive specialties. It also doesn’t show anything novel or unexpected.....top schools that attract top applicants send those people into competitive specialties at slightly higher rates. What’s the surprise here? It’s also worthless bc it doesn’t tell you anything about the individual. You can go to a DO school and still match NSGY if you’re a badass. Ultimately, where you go to school will not determine your future.
Who cares if it doesn't include some of them. It includes most. I don't think the point of this graph is to advise anyone interested in a specific specialty, but to # of "DOPEN" matches as a loose surrogates for the ROI (return on investment) a school provides us. Top schools should be outliers, but there are some midtiers here I wouldn't expect to be under the curve. In terms of the individual, I propose adding a Step 1 score as a X axis and consolidating DOPEN:Class size to the Y axis would tell us more. I think it can tease out some schools that may not be promoting students the best in the match. There shouldn't be a prestige bias either because we're not looking at top 10 matches within a field, we're looking at ENT, Derm, etc. anywhere.

Also to your point earlier about Ophtho/Uro, I suspect OP didn't include them because they are San Francisco (Early) Match and probably get reported differently.
 
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This chart is absolutely worthless. How do you not have something better to do?
I disagree. Match lists arent everything but when you see certain schools sending many students year to year to research-heavy and competitive residency specialties it could be a good indicator of the resources/opportunities/connections available. Its obviously not the end all be all but its helpful info. why not have it
 
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darkamgine

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Who cares if it doesn't include some of them. It includes most. I don't think the point of this graph is to advise anyone of a particular specialty, but to use variables which are loose surrogates for the ROI (return on investment) a school provides us. Top schools should be outliers but there are some midtiers here I wouldn't expect to be under the curve. In terms of the individual, I propose adding a Step 1 score as a X axis and consolidating DOPEN:Class size to the Y axis. I think it can tease out some schools that may not be promoting schools the best in the match.
I only found a quick reference to 2016 Step 1 scores. If anyone has more recent STEP 1 scores, please let me know.

Here is the plot but keep in mind, I could not find average STEP scores for schools under 220. Therefore, a large number of (lower ranked) schools have been omitted.

STEP vs DOPEN Match.png


I think some schools at the top are somewhat expected but definitely some schools that have lower scores have relatively good DOPEN match rate in comparison to their step score. However, this is very limited data (with wrong year) with many possible issues because of the lack of comprehensive STEP 1 score data. Also keep in mind that year to year variance and preference could impact this data greatly. Lastly, because the Y-axis is just a rate, in some schools, the difference of 1/2 students could shift the match rate of the school very significantly. I am very hesitant to use this data at all until I get better data and average a couple years of match lists.
 
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Redpancreas

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I only found a quick reference to 2016 Step 1 scores. If anyone has more recent STEP 1 scores, please let me know.

Here is the plot but keep in mind, I could not find average STEP scores for schools under 220. Therefore, a large number of (lower ranked) schools have been omitted.

View attachment 333234


I think some schools at the top are somewhat expected but definitely some schools that have lower scores have relatively good DOPEN match rate in comparison to their step score. However, this is very limited data (with wrong year) with many possible issues because of the lack of comprehensive STEP 1 score data. Also keep in mind that year to year variance and preference could impact this data greatly. Lastly, because the Y-axis is just a rate, in some schools, the difference of 1/2 students could shift the match rate of the school very significantly. I am very hesitant to use this data at all until I get better data and average a couple years of match lists.
Thank you so much for taking my suggestion! I completely agree with the bolded though. At this point our study is very underpowered. With every surrogate we use we're making a probability-assumption and thus we need exponentially more data points to show significant trends. #DOPEN:Class Size is a surrogate for what I'm just going to call "Matching Power" of a school which I loosely define as ability for a student to match above their profile based at a given school. Then Step 1 is a surrogate for their profile with the assumption that if one expends effort on Step 1, they probably spend effort on the rest of the stuff. Then there's the assumption that average Step 1 of an entire school applies to DOPEN which will get throw off by most who don't apply DOPEN. With anything, the more data we have, the more conclusions can be drawn. This is something that I think we would need at least 20 years of data Step 1 & #DOPEN matches.

Honestly, someone could probably do it, but it would be extremely time intensive. Just tally up 2001-2021 match lists for about 60 schools, find a method to get students at these schools to self report their average step score (screen shot of the internal school email), and then plot it (taking into account minor variances in class sizes year to year).
 
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Interesting to see it visualized but very hard to draw any conclusions.
 
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underthesun

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Who cares if it doesn't include some of them. It includes most. I don't think the point of this graph is to advise anyone interested in a specific specialty, but to # of "DOPEN" matches as a loose surrogates for the ROI (return on investment) a school provides us. Top schools should be outliers, but there are some midtiers here I wouldn't expect to be under the curve. In terms of the individual, I propose adding a Step 1 score as a X axis and consolidating DOPEN:Class size to the Y axis would tell us more. I think it can tease out some schools that may not be promoting students the best in the match. There shouldn't be a prestige bias either because we're not looking at top 10 matches within a field, we're looking at ENT, Derm, etc. anywhere.

Also to your point earlier about Ophtho/Uro, I suspect OP didn't include them because they are San Francisco (Early) Match and probably get reported differently.
My point is that these stats really say more about the types of students that attend these schools rather than the quality of resources/opportunities at the schools themselves. Connections/resources are only as good as the Med student that leverages them appropriately. But the premeds gonna premed so they can just figure that out later.
 

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This chart is absolutely worthless. How do you not have something better to do?
Agree.
I disagree. Match lists arent everything but when you see certain schools sending many students year to year to research-heavy and competitive residency specialties it could be a good indicator of the resources/opportunities/connections available. Its obviously not the end all be all but its helpful info. why not have it
Wrong.

Matchlist are useless and tell you nothing without knowing each students actual rank list or backups or specialty they wanted.

What if ten students wanted Neurosurgery, two matched nsx, 4 matched rads, and 4 anesthesia. You would say, wow great match! I'd say, 2/10 got their first choice, 8/10 got backup. Match lists don't show this.

Thus useless. If Harvard has 0 ortho matches, does that mean it's a bad match? No.. Maybe Noone wanted ortho.
 
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Redpancreas

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My point is that these stats really say more about the types of students that attend these schools rather than the quality of resources/opportunities at the schools themselves. Connections/resources are only as good as the Med student that leverages them appropriately. But the premeds gonna premed so they can just figure that out later.
Agreed that premeds gonna premed, but if you look at the number of competitive matches accounting for class size and step 1 score, that may give us some information into which schools are outliers in the match. The most recent graph with DOPEN:Class Size vs. Step 1 looks like a promising approach if we can find the data to compare apples to apples. I 100% agree that people are way too obsessed with ranking and choose a med school, residency, etc. thinking its going to carry them to the next step when it's not and ultimately it's the individual most accountable for his or her match, but I personally appreciate OPs efforts to at least start the conversation.
 
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My point is that these stats really say more about the types of students that attend these schools rather than the quality of resources/opportunities at the schools themselves. Connections/resources are only as good as the Med student that leverages them appropriately. But the premeds gonna premed so they can just figure that out later.
This would have been better way to start than your first comment in this thread.
 
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Agree.

Wrong.

Matchlist are useless and tell you nothing without knowing each students actual rank list or backups or specialty they wanted.

What if ten students wanted Neurosurgery, two matched nsx, 4 matched rads, and 4 anesthesia. You would say, wow great match! I'd say, 2/10 got their first choice, 8/10 got backup. Match lists don't show this.

Thus useless. If Harvard has 0 ortho matches, does that mean it's a bad match? No.. Maybe Noone wanted ortho.
Seems like you didn't read what I wrote. I said that if you see a school that consistently sends many graduates to competitive specialties which require lots of research and networking that it could be a good sign of the opportunities available at said school. I never said that schools that don't have these matches suck. If a school doesn't send a lot of people to more competitive specialties or doesn't send ppl to more prestigious programs then you don't know much about the school because as has been mentioned it could be due to personal choice because of location or because ppl just weren't interested in the more competitive specialties (and thus not indicative of the opportunities available). Simple as that
 
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Seems like you didn't read what I wrote. I said that if you see a school that consistently sends many graduates to competitive specialties which require lots of research and networking that it could be a good sign of the opportunities available at said school. I never said that schools that don't have these matches suck. If a school doesn't send a lot of people to more competitive specialties or doesn't send ppl to more prestigious programs then you don't know much about the school because as has been mentioned it could be due to personal choice because of location or because ppl just weren't interested in the more competitive specialties (and thus not indicative of the opportunities available). Simple as that
I forget who said this on SDN, but trying to interpret match lists is like trying to read tea leaves. It’s an exercise in futility whether you realize it or not. Everyone is going to try to go to the best medical school (for them). It’s not like people can all of a sudden zap themselves and become qualified for a T10 med school, which sort of renders looking at match lists pointless. You’re going to get in where you get in, and a large number of students only get one acceptance. So tell me again how this is useful?
 
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Most of the top medical students in my class went into peds, IM, radiology, AKA not DOPEN specialties. They had 0 interest in going into any of those fields. This really is a worthless exercise and will vary widely year by year.
 
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I forget who said this on SDN, but trying to interpret match lists is like trying to read tea leaves. It’s an exercise in futility whether you realize it or not. Everyone is going to try to go to the best medical school (for them). It’s not like people can all of a sudden zap themselves and become qualified for a T10 med school, which sort of renders looking at match lists pointless. You’re going to get in where you get in, and a large number of students only get one acceptance. So tell me again how this is useful?
you continue to ignore what im saying but looks like your incapable of understanding. in any case, according to your argument lets just never look at any of the info available about a school because we'll just get in where we get in and can't change that lol
 
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you continue to ignore what im saying but looks like your incapable of understanding. in any case, according to your argument lets just never look at any of the info available about a school because we'll just get in where we get in and can't change that lol
Yeah so you’re like an MS2? Forgive me if I take your opinion with a giant grain of salt. You really don’t get how this works yet. There are too many variables here to draw anything close to a meaningful conclusion. And yes, basically premeds get in where they get in. A small minority of applicants get more than one offer, and most are not in a position to somehow choose based on random match lists that are very minimally-dependent on where you went to school. Look at the PD survey for residency programs. It’s generally not a large factor.
 
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Redpancreas

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I forget who said this on SDN, but trying to interpret match lists is like trying to read tea leaves. It’s an exercise in futility whether you realize it or not. Everyone is going to try to go to the best medical school (for them). It’s not like people can all of a sudden zap themselves and become qualified for a T10 med school, which sort of renders looking at match lists pointless. You’re going to get in where you get in, and a large number of students only get one acceptance. So tell me again how this is useful?

Everyone is aware of that conventional wisdom, but there's no need to have a nihistic mindset to data driven investigation. Maybe OP's method is not perfect, but he readily admits that up front and is not saying this is the end-all be-all and future #1 resource premeds should use and then putting in a link to his personal website asking people to pay $99 for some sham.

I get the whole individuality of a match list. If someone at my low/midtier medical school matched 7 to ortho but then the school next door matched 0 that doesn't necessarily mean anything because maybe of those 7, 4 were from the preceeding year and took gap years, 2 were internal, and one had a connection...but then 8 others went unmatched in Ortho. Meanwhile at the other school maybe no one was interested in Ortho. That's the whole point with increasing the sample size though. With more data points, these year-year variances like how many applied, who was a 5th year, etc. will start becoming accounted for.
 
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efle

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I forget who said this on SDN, but trying to interpret match lists is like trying to read tea leaves. It’s an exercise in futility whether you realize it or not. Everyone is going to try to go to the best medical school (for them). It’s not like people can all of a sudden zap themselves and become qualified for a T10 med school, which sort of renders looking at match lists pointless. You’re going to get in where you get in, and a large number of students only get one acceptance. So tell me again how this is useful?
I was one of many people at second look weekends deciding between different schools, some better known than others and some offering better aid than others. Seeing a difference in match lists is useful information. My school even hands it out to interviewees/second look prospects

It used to be tea leaves until US news and doximity started doing specialty specific residency rankings. Now it's pretty straightforward to glance at the list compared to the rankings, and this will catch unusual programs like like Miami ophtho, rush ortho, cincy peds.
 
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JanetSnakehole

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OP: "Hi everyone. I took time out of my day to create and share this thing with you all. I hope it is useful for some of you."
SDN: "This is useless. I would have done this differently. You are lazy."

Never change, SDN.
 
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darkamgine

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I made an update with averages from 2019-2021 DOPEN match rate. You can check the spreadsheet on the 1st post for the updated for detailed numbers.

I think most rankings correlates well with US news and report research rankings but there are some notable exceptions such as Miami and Pitts. Keep in mind, these DOPEN match do not incorporate prestige of the institutions that student match at. Additionally, I still feel the data is incomplete for some schools because of missing years. Once more match lists are posted for this year, I will update the spreadsheets and graph one more time. I do not believe this is good ranking system for medical schools, but I think this is interesting for anyone looking to match into these competitive specialties to compare the match history of med schools.

Lastly, is higher DOPEN match rate at top med schools a trend? Maybe, 2020 appears to be the higher compared to previous years but I would like 1 more year of data before anything conclusive. It went from approximately 13% in 2019 to 11% in 2020 to 15% so far in 2021. If it goes up or stays above 15%, it appears that this is a trend at top institutions.

Here are some random thoughts after going through these numbers. It appears new schools have quite a low DOPEN match rate. I do believe schools that consistently have high DOPEN match rates have connections and resources which should not be discounted. Anyways, it is just the numbers and this does not mean an individual at a lower DOPEN match school has a lower chance of matching into these specialties. It is just the average of previous match lists.
 
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I made an update with averages from 2019-2021 DOPEN match rate. You can check the spreadsheet on the 1st post for the updated for detailed numbers.

I think most rankings correlates well with US news and report research rankings but there are some notable exceptions such as Miami and Pitts. Keep in mind, these DOPEN match do not incorporate prestige of the institutions that student match at. Additionally, I still feel the data is incomplete for some schools because of missing years. Once more match lists are posted for this year, I will update the spreadsheets and graph one more time. I do not believe this is good ranking system for medical schools, but I think this is interesting for anyone looking to match into these competitive specialties to compare the match history of med schools.

Lastly, is higher DOPEN match rate at top med schools a trend? Maybe, 2020 appears to be the higher compared to previous years but I would like 1 more year of data before anything conclusive. It went from approximately 13% in 2019 to 11% in 2020 to 15% so far in 2021. If it goes up or stays above 15%, it appears that this is a trend at top institutions.

Here are some random thoughts after going through these numbers. It appears new schools have quite a low DOPEN match rate. I do believe schools that consistently have high DOPEN match rates have connections and resources which should not be discounted. Anyways, it is just the numbers and this does not mean an individual at a lower DOPEN match school has a lower chance of matching into these specialties. It is just the average of previous match lists.
No. You can't extrapolate a high number of matches means connections/resources. It means that X amount of people wanted Y and Z matched. That's all.

My signature literally has a post about this topic from years ago... Nothing changes.
 
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darkamgine

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No. You can't extrapolate a high number of matches means connections/resources. It means that X amount of people wanted Y and Z matched. That's all.

My signature literally has a post about this topic from years ago... Nothing changes.
I would debate this. If a medical school is consistently sending a high number of students into certain competitive specialties, I do believe the medical school is providing a good opportunity to those seeking to match into those competitive specialties. This does not mean that schools with lower DOPEN match rate necessarily have less resources, but it is less established and not clear.

These DOPEN specialties really emphasize or at least appreciate research and mentors in the respective fields. These are limiting resources for some schools as not all schools have enough research opportunities, time during medical school, and mentors for medical students. Additionally, having a consistently high match rate suggests that students and advisors understand what is required to get into these fields. I know our school always has match panels where students share their wisdom and what could be better during medical school for each of their specialties. Having students who recently matched give suggestions is appreciated and I believe is a resource. Lastly, if you do have friends/classmates who matched at programs that you are interviewing, you may get better insight into what the program is like or is looking for.
 
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Redpancreas

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I would debate this. If a medical school is consistently sending a high number of students into certain competitive specialties, I do believe the medical school is providing a good opportunity to those seeking to match into those competitive specialties. This does not mean that schools with lower DOPEN match rate necessarily have less resources, but it is less established and not clear.

These DOPEN specialties really emphasize or at least appreciate research and mentors in the respective fields. These are limiting resources for some schools as not all schools have enough research opportunities, time during medical school, and mentors for medical students. Additionally, having a consistently high match rate suggests that students and advisors understand what is required to get into these fields. I know our school always has match panels where students share their wisdom and what could be better during medical school for each of their specialties. Having students who recently matched give suggestions is appreciated and I believe is a resource. Lastly, if you do have friends/classmates who matched at programs that you are interviewing, you may get better insight into what the program is like or is looking for.

The only exceptions would be schools like UNC, UWashington which I've heard are distinguished for primary care. I for one would be curious to know how these schools successfully for primary care and separate the real aspirants from bull in a personal statement.
 

ChordaEpiphany

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Matchlist are useless and tell you nothing without knowing each students actual rank list or backups or specialty they wanted.

What if ten students wanted Neurosurgery, two matched nsx, 4 matched rads, and 4 anesthesia. You would say, wow great match! I'd say, 2/10 got their first choice, 8/10 got backup. Match lists don't show this.

Thus useless. If Harvard has 0 ortho matches, does that mean it's a bad match? No.. Maybe Noone wanted ortho.
Totally agreed. I worked with a student from a top 5 school last year who was going for a competitive specialty. This student had an interesting background, and after interviewing at literally all of the top programs in that field they decided they liked a smaller program that squarely fit into the category of "average academic medical center." It wasn't even a location thing. They had other interviews in that city that were among the top programs in the specialty. You would look through that match list and see:

Competitive Specialty
Top 5 (2)
Top 5
Top 10 (2)
Top 5
Totally average school
Top 10

If I didn't know that person and specifically talk to them about the match beforehand, I might have assumed that they had a stellar class and one "dud" who managed to match into the specialty, but maybe didn't have the credentials to get a top match. Nope. That student just liked that program the most, and they matched at their number 1.

Specialty is even more choice dependent. Internal medicine can mean back up, or it can mean best student in the class bound for Chief of Medicine at a major academic medical center.
 
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underthesun

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Totally agreed. I worked with a student from a top 5 school last year who was going for a competitive specialty. This student had an interesting background, and after interviewing at literally all of the top programs in that field they decided they liked a smaller program that squarely fit into the category of "average academic medical center." It wasn't even a location thing. They had other interviews in that city that were among the top programs in the specialty. You would look through that match list and see:

Competitive Specialty
Top 5 (2)
Top 5
Top 10 (2)
Top 5
Totally average school
Top 10

If I didn't know that person and specifically talk to them about the match beforehand, I might have assumed that they had a stellar class and one "dud" who managed to match into the specialty, but maybe didn't have the credentials to get a top match. Nope. That student just liked that program the most, and they matched at their number 1.

Specialty is even more choice dependent. Internal medicine can mean back up, or it can mean best student in the class bound for Chief of Medicine at a major academic medical center.
Yep. The only people here that think these lists mean anything are misinformed premeds and newbie med students. Way more goes on behind the scenes.
 
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efle

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Yep. The only people here that think these lists mean anything are misinformed premeds and newbie med students. Way more goes on behind the scenes.
These people are outliers, the vast majority of t5 med classes are aiming at big academic centers
 
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southerndoc14

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This is interesting. I wanted to provide some insight as a med student who applied to competitive surgical subspecialty (ENT) this year and went unmatched. I attend a low/mid-tier school and the number of matched applicants for our school in the 2021 tab is correct (2), but 6 of us applied. So, as OP mentioned, it is difficult to decipher the school's match rate from this data. With this year in particular in ENT, many programs matched their home students, which is a little different than previous years.
 
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truewolvgocrim1

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UIC-Chicago campus had 20 DOPEN in 2020. Chicago is only about 3/5 of the entire UIC class, which also includes Rockford and Peoria. The graph shows that they only matched ~18 (wrong) out of a class of 300+ (also wrong). The number for the entirety of the UIC class of ~300 is closer to 25-30, putting it above the trend line.
 
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I got bored so I spent half of today compiling and organizing data from the 2020 and 2021 Match. Please do not over-interpret or misinterpret the data: I am showing numbers not an explanation.

It may appear hard to understand whether a school's match is good or not, and honestly, it takes too much time to sort through each school's match data. I compiled a spreadsheet to look into the number and proportion of students matched into competitive specialties (Derm, Ortho, Plastics, ENT, NeuroSurgery, abbreviated DOPEN) by each medical school. I think most medical students would agree these are competitive specialties that are hard to get into because of expectations of high STEP scores, research, and good clinical grades. I know there are other potential competitive specialties such as IR and Rad Onc but they were not included because it is more work for me without a large difference in end results (Feel free to add it to my data if you want). Additionally, I realize not everyone who has a competitive application will apply into these specialties (for one, I am not looking into any surgical specialty), but I still believe the data is interesting to investigate. 9.1% of all US MD graduates in 2020 matched into DOPEN specialties (1751/19326) so that is the expected average for all US medical schools.

So below is my first plot showing the number of DOPEN matched in 2020 (Y axis) by the approximate class size or graduating class of 2020 (X axis). The trendline is approximately the average for all medical schools. About half of all medical students is represented by the medical schools shown below. Schools that are above the line have more than the expected number of students match into DOPEN whereas schools below the line have less students than expected match into DOPEN. There are many possible explanations why a school may want to be under the line such as primary care focus, under-served focus, research (MD-PhD) focus, or more. Note, I do not rank/distinguish at which hospitals people match.
View attachment 333292


However, it is interesting that the schools with the highest proportion of students matching into DOPEN are top research universities including Vanderbilt, UPenn, JHU, and Harvard. You can view the spreadsheet linked here for specific numbers but there is a trend for many of the top private medical schools to be very specialized. There are some schools way above the line which I did not expect based on ranking for example, Miami and University of Rochester matched a lot of DOPEN (14%). Now, whether that is variance or not requires more data but it is something to pay attention to. Note, I inputted data from other years for schools that I could not find their 2020 match list.

I have also compiled the preliminary data for 2021 Match which looks even more interesting. If you look at the spreadsheet for 2021 data, you see some very eye-popping numbers. For example, Mayo and Vanderbilt have over 20% of their graduating class match into DOPEN specialties!! Yale and Miami are not far behind them in terms of percentage! Is this because of variance, COVID-19, student preferences, or something else, I do not know but the separation between schools appears larger this year than last year. Additionally, the data is currently incomplete but I wonder if more graduates from top medical school matching into DOPEN is a trend or just an aberration of this year.

View attachment 333298


Hopefully, these graphs and data were interesting to you. Keep in mind, there are many factors that go into residency applications and the medical school you go to is just one of them. I honestly would take this data with a grain of salt because the variation year to year is huge for some schools. UCLA went from below expected to among the highest DOPEN matched in a year. Same with Wake Forest.

If anyone is interested in doing more analysis or compiling more data with this, let me know or just use the spreadsheet. I do not know or promise all information in the spreadsheet is correct as I just compiled it today. Special thanks to @Kracin for his work on the match list table of contents. Also thanks to anyone making readable and searchable match list (you can really tell if a school puts in the work or not).

TLDR: Data from the Match showing graduates of which medical schools matched more than the national average into competitive surgical specialties.

Edit: Updated graphs and added 2019-2021 Average Data. Fixed an calculation error in some schools.

Here is average DOPEN match rate by medical schools from 2019-2021 with error bars where applicable. I think this mirrors research rankings by US news and reports quite a bit but there are some unexpected ones such as Miami being rather high while UPitts being lower than expected. The list is below for those who want to see the numbers. And here is a higher quality of the graph.
View attachment 333299
View attachment 333300
Thank you for sharing!
 
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What about DR? How competitive is DR for an FMG? Step 1- 239,step 2- planning to give by july, oet passed, no solid research, no USCE planning to do telerotations due to travel restrictions
 
A

AnatomyGrey12

What about DR? How competitive is DR for an FMG? Step 1- 239,step 2- planning to give by july, oet passed, no solid research, no USCE planning to do telerotations due to travel restrictions
Anything is competitive for an FMG. No USCE will be a big issue IMO
 

darkamgine

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Wow, out of left field! How did FSU sneak in there? Glad to hear that.
Oops, looks like the class size was wrong. It should be 120 instead of 50. Thanks for having me double check that. The percentage is about 6% and not 14%. I will update that after the weekend.

UIC-Chicago campus had 20 DOPEN in 2020. Chicago is only about 3/5 of the entire UIC class, which also includes Rockford and Peoria. The graph shows that they only matched ~18 (wrong) out of a class of 300+ (also wrong). The number for the entirety of the UIC class of ~300 is closer to 25-30, putting it above the trend line.
Thanks for the information. I double checked UIC data and realized that the match list was only for UIC-chicago campus with about 200 students per year. I also didn't realize I put in 2021 data for 2020 because the link for 2020 match is the same as the 2021 match list. I will correct it to 200 students per year on the next update.

If you see any errors, let me know and I will fix them. I will double check stuff this weekend and update the numbers by Monday. If you do not see your school on the list, you can message me with 2 years or more of data and I will add them. Lastly, I know DOPEN is only 10% of US residency slots so that means 90% of people won't be matching or maybe even planning to match into these specialties. That's fine and this DOPEN match rate won't mean much to you then.
 
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I only found a quick reference to 2016 Step 1 scores. If anyone has more recent STEP 1 scores, please let me know.

Here is the plot but keep in mind, I could not find average STEP scores for schools under 220. Therefore, a large number of (lower ranked) schools have been omitted.

View attachment 333234


I think some schools at the top are somewhat expected but definitely some schools that have lower scores have relatively good DOPEN match rate in comparison to their step score. However, this is very limited data (with wrong year) with many possible issues because of the lack of comprehensive STEP 1 score data. Also keep in mind that year to year variance and preference could impact this data greatly. Lastly, because the Y-axis is just a rate, in some schools, the difference of 1/2 students could shift the match rate of the school very significantly. I am very hesitant to use this data at all until I get better data and average a couple years of match lists.

This new chart was an interesting exercise. I think what you are seeing below the line, are many schools in T20 schools known to offer good Merit Aid and thus theoretically more financial freedoms to choose primary care.

Another way to tease this out would be to plot #DOPEN/#Primary Care vs Step Score.
 
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891
712
An easier more subjective approach to measure a school’s match list strength is simply to count how many T10 residency program placements existed.

This is done by using Diximity peer reputation ranking for each specialty and creating a list for each specialty.
Here is a semi recent list:
 
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